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Japan’s garden of the dead

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This incredibly creepy garden in Japan’s Toyama prefecture is home to 800 life-like statues, following your every move with their unnervingly blank stares.

The sculptures were created in the late 1980s at the request of a prominent local businessmen called Mutsuo Furukawa, at an estimated cost of 6 billion yen (A$78.5 million).

While some appear to be Buddhist deities, many are thought to be people he knew during his lifetime, because he wanted them to be with him for eternity.

He even commissioned a tall statue of himself, overlooking the park.

It’s believed he intended the garden to be a place of relaxation, and that he wanted to enhance the wellbeing of the local people while promoting tourism.

However, photographer Ken Ohki says he couldn’t shake the feeling the bizarre lawn ornaments came alive after dark.

The statues were carved out of stone in the late 1980s. Picture: Ken Okhi.

“You come to feel like something is moving every time you turn around,” he wrote on his blog, describing the place as “chilling”.

The village is known as Fureai Sekibutsu no Sato, which literally translates to “the village where you can meet Buddhist statues”.

It’s incredibly popular with tourists, who arrive daily to check out the bizarre lawn ornaments.

Some of the eerie figures are lined up in rows, while others are scattered over the hills, with many almost disappearing into the long grass.

There’s an unshakable feeling the statues come alive after dark. Picture: Ken Okhi

It’s not the only creepy village in Japan.

Further south, in Nagoro, a woman has been replacing dead people with life-size dolls.

Tsukimi Ayano has created more than 350 effigies, which vastly outnumber the local population.

“Since I started to weave the dolls, I am not alone anymore. Every day someone comes to visit me,” she told Brazilian journalist Roberto Maxwell.

Some dolls are crowded at bus stops, while others are working in fields or fixing roads.

She even created likenesses of her own family, showing her father with a cigarette.

A 67-year-old woman, Tsukimi Ayano, weaves effigies of people from her village in Nagoro. Picture: Roberto Maxwell

It’s an isolated mountain village, and the dolls now vastly outnumber the residents. Picture: Roberto Maxwell

Business

Zimbabwe’s Airline, Kenya’s Bond to Be Sold

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Kenya Central Bank has said the country will in November sell 20-year amortised infrastructure bond worth 50 billion shillings ($489 million) just as Zimbabwe pushes to privatise airline.



The the bond which will have an 11.95 per cent coupon will have its proceeds used for road, water and energy projects, it said.

It added that it would accept bids for the bond from Monday to Tuesday and auction it on Wednesday. ($1 = 102.1500 Kenyan shillings).

Also Zimbabwe has invited bids for the state-owned airline.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government is pushing ahead with a drive to privatise and end state funding to loss-making firms, Air Zimbabwe’s administrator said on Monday.

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Air Zimbabwe, which owes foreign and domestic creditors more than $300 million, was in October placed into administration to try and revive its fortunes.

The troubled airline is among dozens of state-owned firms, known locally as parastatals, that are set to be partially or fully privatised in the next nine months as the government seeks to cut its fiscal deficit seen at 11 per cent of GDP this year.

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Air Zimbabwe administrator Reggie Saruchera said in a notice published in media on Monday that potential investors should make their bids before November 23 after paying a non-refundable deposit of $20,000.

Saruchera did not indicate whether investors would be allowed to tender for partial or total shareholding in Air Zimbabwe. He was not immediately reachable for comment.

Only three of Air Zimbabwe’s planes are operational, with another three grounded, which has forced it to abandon international routes.(NAN).

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Travel

The world’s first-ever underwater hotel now open in the Maldives (See Photo)

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The Underwater hotel is More than 16 feet below the surface of the Indian Ocean, the two-story villa has a private gym, a bar, an infinity pool and butler’s quarters. The only way to stay there is to buy a four-night, $200,000 package, which includes a personal chef and private boat.



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